How Will the Transition Period Affect Your Holidays?
The UK’s exit date from the European Union was finally confirmed as the 31st January 2020, with an 11-month transition period easing concerns of any immediate changes to travel requirements.
Previously, there were fears for the validity of passports, healthcare, driving licences and the ability to travel with pets in Europe.
Up until December 2020, the British Travel Association (ABTA) states all rules for your holiday will remain the same – including your EHIC card, and using the same gates at border checkpoints.
However, it’s likely you still have questions about what changes lie ahead – So, we’re giving you an all-in-one guide for travelling post-Brexit…
Will Travel Insurance Cover You for Brexit?
Here, we outline how AllClear branded Travel Insurance policies can give you peace of mind from the potential impact of Brexit:
At AllClear, it’s business as usual – If you have, or are taking out a policy with AllClear, then Brexit should have no impact on the validity of your travel insurance policy, both Single Trip and Annual Multi-trip policies.
If you’re concerned about the potential insolvency of your travel provider that may be caused by Brexit and whether your policy will cover you, check that you have End Supplier Failure – which is available as standard with our AllClear Gold and Gold Plus policies.
If you’re concerned about travel delays or disruption, first follow the guidance of tour operators and airlines, and ensure you allow plenty of time to check in and to clear customs. If you find yourself delayed, or having to abandon your trip, through no fault of your own, you may be covered if you have taken out Travel disruption cover (available as an Optional add on). Make sure you keep any receipts from your delay and any documentation you get from airline or authorities. Plus, if you can, take photos of any queues or flight boards showing delays.
If you’re concerned about a specific scenario, then check your policy documents carefully to see what is and isn’t covered by your chosen level of cover.
If you want to change your holiday dates because of Brexit and are still planning on going to the same place, then in terms of your travel insurance, we are happy to transfer the period of cover free of charge, as long as the departure date is within six months, subject to underwriters’ acceptance.
AllClear can help make sure you are prepared for Brexit with comprehensive travel insurance.
Below, we’ve answered some of the common questions and concerns we’ve been asked about how Brexit will affect travel and the cover we offer. We’ve sourced Government advice for the most up-to-date information and will update this page as and when we receive new sources of information.
Information correct as of Nov 19
Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis’ Top Travel Tips for Brexit
Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis revealed these must do preparations for a trip planned after Brexit:
- “Get comprehensive travel insurance” – For AllClear customers who already have a policy, or who buy before the consequences of Brexit are clear, their policy will cover them for any claims for travel delay or cancellation of flights in line with their policy terms and conditions.
- “Check your EHIC is valid” – For 27 million people in the UK, the EHIC currently entitles travellers to discounted (sometimes free) medical treatment in the EU when necessary. This will continue to be the case until at least December 2020.
Key Benefits of AllClear Cover
- Cancellation and Curtailment covered up to £25,000, including for Covid-19
- Up to £15 million emergency medical expenses cover, including for Covid-19
- Up to 30 days FREE extended cover (if due to unexpected circumstances beyond your control)
- Up to £2,000, if medically necessary, for a friend or relative to travel from your home area to stay with you if you fall ill with Covid-19 (costs for room and to accompany you home)
- Repatriation costs, when medically necessary, to bring you back to the UK where it is deemed to be in your best interests
- Following recovery from Coronavirus, costs for a continued recuperation stay, when medically necessary and under doctors advice
- Costs for your return flight following your enforced stay due to Coronavirus
- Personal Belongings covered up to £3,000
- All conditions. All ages.
Will you be covered if you’re travelling during the pandemic?
There are a few things to check first, as it needs to be safe for you to travel to make sure you’re covered:
- You must be fit to travel
- The FCO must NOT have advised against travel to your destination
- You must follow the local government advice for your destination, checking and following their guidelines and entry requirements
You can then be covered for emergency medical expenses or cancellation relating to COVID-19, when you have travel insurance with enhanced Coronavirus cover. If you’re an existing policyholder, you can read our Frequently Asked Questions if your trip is affected by Covid-19.
Why Over 3 Million Holidaymakers Have Trusted AllClear
“I’ve had AllClear holiday insurance for my last few cruises and they offer excellent value. My husband and I have several illnesses, some quite serious, and they always deliver very good cover at excellent prices. We’ve decided this is the company we will stay with. I was ill on my last cruise and they paid out straight away, no fuss. In a nutshell it comes down to trust and we trust them.” – David, Trustpilot
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Compare Quotes to Find the Perfect Policy
1. Call us or click a quote button on our siteOnce you are ready to start the quote process, the first step is to provide your personal details and information about your holiday plans.
2. Complete our simple medical screening processYou then declare the medical conditions for you (and any other travellers) and answer the specifically designed medical questions.
3. Get your quotesYou will then get your quotes and can either proceed to buy, or save your quote, at this stage.
Frequently Asked Questions About Brexit Travel Insurance
Will the terms and conditions of your current policy change when we leave the European Union?
If you already have an AllClear branded policy we won’t change the terms and conditions during its lifetime.
However, we may need to change the T&Cs of our policies after Brexit. We’ll make sure any changes we make are clear.
Post-Brexit, will you even need travel insurance?
Yes! Things can still go wrong in a post-Brexit world; luggage can still go missing, people can still have accidents or become unwell etc. so it’s always worthwhile to take out travel insurance.
Should I take out specific travel insurance to cover Brexit?
As far as we’re aware, there’s no travel insurance policy that will cover Brexit specifically. If you already have an AllClear Gold or Gold Plus policy, or buy one before the effects of Brexit are clear, you will be able to claim for travel delay or cancellation of flights in line with your policy terms and conditions if you have the Travel Disruption add on.
How can you protect yourself against travel disruption caused by Brexit?
For AllClear, Travel Disruption is available on both AllClear Gold and Gold Plus policies as an optional extra and can be bought online or over the phone.
Make sure you keep any receipts from your delay and any documentation you get from airline or authorities. Plus, if you can, take photos of any queues or flight boards showing delays.
What do you need to look out for in a travel insurance policy after Brexit?
You should always look for a policy that’s right for your specific needs. Ideally, your policy should at least;
- Give you appropriate cover limits
- Cover your destination
- Cover you for the duration of your trip
- Cover all the activities you want to do
- Cover your medical conditions
After Brexit however, there may other things you need to consider. For example:
- If there are delays or disruption due to Brexit, will your policy provide any cover for that?
What will happen if your holiday can’t go ahead because of Brexit?
If your trip can’t go ahead because of Brexit, then it is your travel agent, tour operator’s or airlines responsibility to help resolve the issue in the first instance.
If you want to change your holiday dates because of Brexit, then in terms of your travel insurance, AllClear will transfer the period of cover as long as the departure date is within six months, for the same duration and to the same region, but may be subject to additional administration fees.
What if you decide not to travel?
If you need to cancel your trip before your departure date, make sure it’s for one of the reasons outlined in the cancellation section of cover. Our policies don’t cover cancellations because you decide not to travel. If your airline or tour operator cancel your trip, try to claim any money back directly from them or from your credit card, as we’ll only consider eligible costs that you can’t get back from elsewhere.
What if Brexit causes your holiday company to go bust?
In recent years we’ve seen the collapse of several airlines and travel companies – such as Monarch, Jet Airways and Libra Holidays – and most recently Thomas Cook. After operating for 178 years, the collapse of the UK’s oldest travel group has affected over 150,000 Briton’s holiday plans.
With Brexit looming, there are concerns that more airlines may go under. Importantly, when these travel companies go bust, you could be left out of pocket. This is because your travel arrangements will only be covered by license schemes such as ABTA and ATOL if you have booked a package holiday. We’re pleased to say AllClear Gold and Gold Plus policies offer protection for airline or end supplier failure as standard.
Will the EHIC be valid after Brexit?
Following our exit from the EU, the UK will enter an 11-month ‘transition period’ up until December 2020, during which time all rules for your holiday will remain the same – including using your EHIC card.
After December 2020, we may need to negotiate reciprocal healthcare agreements.
However, even with a valid EHIC card, remember you will still need travel insurance to be covered for all eventualities. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) recently revealed the case of one British holidaymaker who needed to be flown back from Spain for a heart transplant – this repatriation would not be covered by the EHIC scheme – for a staggering cost of £76,528.
If your EHIC is not accepted by public hospitals or clinics while you’re on holiday and you have AllClear Travel Insurance, then you need to call our 24-hour medical emergency team who can make sure you get suitable treatment.
How does Brexit affect the best time to book a holiday?
The performance of the pound against the dollar and euro can influence when we might want to book a trip, and since Brexit was first announced in June 2016, the pound has declined in performance.
If you’ve travelled to Europe in recent years, you may have also noticed that your money is not going quite as far as it did before. This is due to a weakened pound which means that exchange rates are less favourable now, with the gap between the pound and the euro closing.
However, when a Brexit deal was reached for 31st January 2020, the value of the pound increased.
One certainty is that the worst rates are given to those who leave it to the last minute and use a bureau de change at the airport.
Either way, British holidaymakers aren’t about to stop booking holidays in the EU altogether! The 2019 Travel Report by ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) reveals that of the top 5 most popular holiday destinations for Brits this year, four of them were in Europe – with Spain staying top of the list for our 2020 travel plans.
Will the cost of travel insurance rise as a result of Brexit?
Possibly. An example of one of those factors is the potential loss of our EHIC’s. However, no changes are expected until the end of our Brexit transition period, at the end of 2020.
At the moment some customers are being treated for free in Europe with EHIC, but without it, that cost will be passed on to travel insurers which, as Travel Journalist Simon Calder states, could force travel insurance premiums up – as insurers will be required to pay out to customers more frequently and in greater amounts. This makes it even more essential that, if you have booked trip in 2021, you get travel insurance in place as soon as possible.
Will your passport still be valid for the EU after Brexit?
Currently, you can travel to any EU country as long as you have a UK passport that is still valid on the day you return – this will still be the case at least until December 2020.
If there is a failure of negotiations after this transition period, then most EU countries, including Spain, Italy, France and Germany, may require you to have at least 6 months left on your passport as many other non-EU countries do. It can take up to 3 weeks to renew your passport so plan ahead.
Will you need a VISA to travel to Europe?
After our transition period ends in 2021, visa requirement may be subject to change as the free movement of UK nationals within Europe is yet to be finalised.
Again, this is something that we cannot be sure of until negotiations have been settled.
The EU has agreed in principle that British travellers will continue to enjoy visa-free travel as long holidaymakers from the EU are given the same rights when visiting the UK.
Will Brexit affect mobile phone charges abroad?
The current rules, in place since June 2017, meaning there are no extra charges for making or receiving calls and using data from your domestic allowance while in the EU.
This will still be the case after 31st January 2020.
Will you be able to drive in Europe after Brexit?
Following our exit from the EU, the UK will enter an 11-month ‘transition period’ up until December 2020, during which time your driving licence will remain valid in the EU.
If there is a break-down in negotiations in 2021, you may need an International Driving Permit to drive in Europe. These cost £5.50 and can be bought over the counter from many Post Offices.
You may also need to get a car insurance ‘green card’ from your provider to prove that you have a valid policy – these can take up to a month to arrive and some companies will charge you. Plus, you would need a GB sticker on your vehicle(s). If you’re planning to rent a hire car within Europe, you will not need a green card.
Will Brexit affect your pet travelling with you?
Yes, you will still be permitted to take pets abroad after 31 January 2020, with no changes yet to come into force.
How will the free movement across Europe change for Brits after Brexit?
As part of the EU, Brits currently have the right to freely move between EU countries. Passports are still checked at borders, but they only check that you are who you say you are and so are allowed to travel there without a visa.
It means that EU check-ins are fairly straight forward in comparison to full security checks in other countries. This will continue to be the case until at least December 2020.
If there is a failure to negotiate free-movement in the future, the government has advised that any travellers to any EU country within the free-bordered area of Europe called the Schengen area will be considered as ‘third country nationals’, with the same treatment as those who travel from places like Australia.
You would need to confirm that you have sufficient funds for your stay, or to prove that you have a return ticket or onward travel.
Being a ‘third country national’ will also mean that people travelling with a UK passport may only stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days in any 180 day period(6) without a visa.
The biggest change for some, is that upon arrival to passport checks, Brits would no longer be able to use the EU nationals speed-check lanes. This could add significant delays to your journey for the following destinations:
> Czech Republic
What if the country you are going to isn’t listed above?
For travel to Ireland, the way Brits travel from the UK will remain the same after we leave the EU. This is because the UK has a separate arrangement called the Common Travel Area arrangement for travel between Ireland and the UK.
There are a few EU countries that aren’t within the Schengen area of Europe, where other border controls should not be majorly affected. These countries tend to be those that share borders with non-EU countries (and therefore have a harder border than the Schengen area). These countries are:
Will cruises or ferries be affected by Brexit?
Cruises and ferries should be largely unaffected in terms of cancellations that could be caused by Brexit, as they are operated under international maritime law rather than European regulations.
If you’ve got further questions, we found these websites useful:
- For further travel advice, try ABTA
- For passport info, go to GOV.UK
- For info about driving in Europe after Brexit, ABI can help